7mm RUM COAL Problem

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Doug in Alaska, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Doug in Alaska

    Doug in Alaska Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2009
    I'm trying to find where I should start with COAL using 168 grain Berger VLD bullets in the 7mm RUM. Using the Hornady OAL gauge and modified case, I find the bullet contacting the lands with a COAL of 4.100. At this length, the bullet is just inside the case mouth. Berger's info shows COAL at 3.600 which is a difference of 0.5, this sounds huge to me. Has anyone had to deal with this much bullet jump? Due to magazine length, I may be able to use 3.650 as COAL. This is still .45 off the lands. I'm shooting a Remington 700 (not stock rifle but the barrel is).
  2. ramp

    ramp Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Hey Doug
    I ran into the same problem. Same mesurements as you.
    I thank I found the load I want to use.
    Started to play with seating and found the same as you.
    Was going to ask the same ??.
    Hope someone knows and chimes in.
    Need anwser fast about time to head west hunting.


  3. Doug in Alaska

    Doug in Alaska Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2009
    I shot a bunch of test loads yesterday just using the COAL listed in the loading data. I tried 160 gr Barnes TSX bullets, 160 gr Accubonds, and Berger 168 VLDs. My best group was with the TSX but I've still got some work to do. I now plan to work with the charge weights and will try to run the bullets out to the max the magazine will handle. This appears to be around 3.670. I head down to Idaho for my annual whitetail/turkey hunt in November so still have some time.
    Good luck!
  4. Autorotate

    Autorotate Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2007

    Your seeing exactly what I saw in a factory Sendero in 300 RUM. I have measured two factory Rem 700s now that are chambered in 300 RUM using the Hornady tool and found nearly identical results to yours. These 3 (the 2 I measured and yours) rifles are evidently chambered with some amount of freebore/parrallel throat to ensure velocity goals can be met with this chambering. Same practice applied by Weatherby regarding the venerable "freebore".

    Seems like some Weatherbys and Remmys still end up shoot lights out with freebore though:)

    I went with a 200 NAB/H1000 in my 300 RUM combo seated to max functioning factory magazine working length, and found the accuracy I wanted by varying charge weight. You very well may find that in your rifle.

    Another option would be to develop two different loads, one at working mag length, and one is a single shot configuration.

    Example: A repeater load with a COAL of 3.7 using the 160 gr Nosler Accubond, and you keep these in your rifle during your hunt. Call this your "dark timber" load, and you'll keep yourself to closer in shots with this load, depending on the accuracy you achieve with this shorter COAL.

    You then develop a second load that will have a COAL that is touching (or at least closer) the lands with a COAL of 3.9+ish using the 180 gr Berger VLD or 200 gr ULD Wildcat bullet. You keep these rounds in your pack, and use them for the "long half" of your max engagement range or your longer shots...where you'll need to take the time to measure environmental conditions, apply a correction to your scope turrets/holdover, and use a high BC bullet like the Berger or Wildcat to get 'er done way out there.

    Take care and good luck.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  5. Doug in Alaska

    Doug in Alaska Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2009

    Thanks for the helpful info. Barnes' listed COAL was actually 3.580 so I haven't tried these bullets seated out to 3.60 or beyond to 3.670. I was a little surprised that they shot better than the VLDs. I also did all my tests (I had several powders to try) at midrange powder charges so I'll start running the charges up toward the max listed. I tried H1000, Retumbo, RL25 and H4831SC. Didn't have any IMR7828 and couldn't find any but would still like to give it a try. During my testing, H1000 provided the best accuracy.
  6. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Freebore IMHO is not the delima some shooters think it is. Sure it takes a bit more powder to get the velocities up to snuff but with good loading practices and finding the right bullet/powder/charge weight combo freebore vs into the lands meens very little. IMHO good harmonics can be found using more than just one method. What you cant do with tuning into or just off the lands can often times be made up for by adjusting the charge weight and/or neck tension.
  7. Kiwi Nate

    Kiwi Nate Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2007
    Hi Doug, I have a bit of experience with the freebore of the 7mm RUM and experiments.

    In my first 7mmRUM barrel, I was also suprised by the freebore. Worse still, I was using an M70 action which has a shorter magazine that the M700. Bullet jump for my loads was .400"

    The rifle shot well but I never quite got down to the .3-.4" range I was hoping for. The rifle was a favorite with hunting clients of ours but during the course of one trip, I neglected to tape the muzzle, a small amount of moisture got in with the damp weather and in one shot, completely ruined the barrel. I only noticed when groups opened up dramatically and while checking the muzzle over, noticed the slightest swelling on the outer barrel, just the slightest bulge. So off the rifle went again.

    Round 2- we had Dave Kiff regrind the reamer to halve the throat length. there would still be some freebore to smooth out pressure but atleast the bullet would engage the rifling while still having some of its shank in the cartridge case. I hoped this would get me down to .3" etc.

    The rifle was now a monster. With the 160 grain flat base Speer Hotcor (very easy bullet to do preliminary accuracy/ load development work) I started at 89 grains of Retumbo for 3100fps (26" barrel). the fouling shot gave 3100fps, the next load gave 3300fps and was difficult to extract (was thinking I had stuffes up a load), the next gave 3100fps, the next gave 3300fps, destroyed the case and I needed a mallet to open the action.

    I emailed Kirby Allen and he got straight to it- directional ignition from too much powder space. Kirby suggested I switch to a slower powder but we do not have this locally. Before doing anything else though, I upped my loads. Velocity spreads and pressure settled with 92 grains Retumbo at 3200fps but case life was short- talk about a small window.

    Round 3- The rifle went back to the Smith and he (very patiently) re-cut the throat for the original .400" jump. The rifle has shot OK ever since but is very limiting. To get down in accuracy, I eventually discovered that the freebore has a huge detrimental effect on the bullet stability factor. Theoretically, a 1-9 twist should stablize 162-168 grain bullets but in the RUM, this does not work. During the huge bullet jump, the slightest deviation in bullet to bore concentricity is magified as twist rate is increased. To shoot 162-168 grain bullets, the best twist rate for the RUM would be 1:10. With the 1:9 twist of my bore, I got down to .5" and less using either the 175gr SMK or 180gr VLD. 91gr of Retumbo drives both at 3184fps but load to load deviation is still 20fps for those concerned with the finer details. Asvelocity is increased, regardless of pressure, the groups with 162-168 grain bullets opens up to 3" plus. The 168gr Berger VLD suffers the worst.

    Ok, so I have a long range rig that won't shoot under .75" unless I use either the 175gr SMK or 180gr Berger. Serious throat erosion has been seen in another customers rifle in less than 150 shots so I can basically expect that now I have done all my test loads and a bit of hunting with the new standard throated barrel (about 100 rounds so far), I will only be able to maintain this level of accuracy for the next 100 rounds or so- am only guessing.

    A worse move was when I had a brake fitted to aid accuracy. During tests, the brake proved to reduce groups by 50% so all kudos to the smith. The problem is that the rifle kicks up dirt so bad that I have to close my eyes for a few seconds as I let the trigger off- its a very fine line between a procedure versus the development of a poor habit. The noise is horrendous, even with earplugs. A few weeks ago, I made a terible mistake, was setting up for a long shot over a favorite spot when an animal walked out in front of me at point blank. I had no time to put earplugs in, fired the shot, lost my hearing for two days and was uncomfortable for several days thereafter.

    Anyway, have pretty much had enough of this. I should mention, I have both a 9.3RUM and a .375 RUM (Dave Kiff reamers) and the freebore is the same. Test rifles in the other RUM's are the same. The difference with my two big RUM's is that both are pussy cats to load for and I would summerize them as being "well balanced". My M700 .375 RUM shoots one hole groups at velocities ranging from 3250fps with 225gr bullets through to 2950fps with 300 grain bullets. Rifle is 12lb, barrel length is 26, recoil is shear hell. The 9.3 does exactly the same with like weight bullets, best powder is H4350 but both can easily be downloaded with H1000 to drive, for example, the 293/300 grain bullets at 2500fps. Totally different to my 7mm.

    My next move will be to re-barrel the 7mm to a smaller cartridge. I am having an internal debate about this which lead me to visit here after not visiting for a year or so. I think my ideal case capacity would be something to the tune of the 7mm-300 Win mag but I can't find any feedback about it. My major worry is the short neck. I don't think I will go the route of the Dakota as I want to retain the normal bolt face. Am not to sure about consistant brass supply for another candidate, the 7mm-375 Ruger (no neck turn). It can be hard to find a constistant supply for less common cartridges such as the .375 here. The other option, which friends have encouraged, is to go back to my old favorite- the 7mm Rem Mag. Before anyone comments, please let me expalain my situation best:

    We have high winds, average is 10mph and gusting. The 7mm RUM probably the only cartridge I have ever used that showed an almost immunity to this our to 450 yards. I constantly stuff up shots beyond 400 yards with the .308 and match bullets due to wind gusts in the valleys (ridge to ridge shooting). I can go back to the 7mm RM but will have to lift my game somewhat if I want to learn to shoot well at long ranges.

    The terrain is steep ( I hunt different routes when not guiding clients). I can't go any higher than 11lb all up.

    The 7mm 162-168 grain bullets give the fastest killing on what I am hunting out to the greatest distances. I have been shooting game weighing between 90 and 130lb and leaving the big animals for clients. Hogs are the main target species and even at 90lb, take a lot of knocking down at extended ranges.

    The rifle will be used at both point blank and long ranges of up to 800 yards- no further. When I loan the rifle to clients, it will be used out to 400 yards and will be loaded with a contolled expanding bullet for mature hogs with a 1" plus cartilage shield.

    I don't want another 300 Win mag as I want to go down a step in recoil this time around. Yes, I admit it is a very good cartridge.

    Will probably shoot 300 to 600 rounds per year once I step down from the 7RUM. Am currently toting both a .308 and the RUM on the quad bike- do most hunting each week with the .308 and a few "luxury" shots with the RUM to minimize wear and cost.

    Sorry to steal your post at the end Doug. Hope the initial info is useful.

  8. Doug in Alaska

    Doug in Alaska Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2009
    No worries Nathan, you didn't steal my post. Thanks much for the very interesting and informative feedback. I hope I don't experience all the problems you've had with the 7 RUM. I've actually found a pretty good load and I'm getting .5" groups at 100 yards, plenty good enough for my whitetail hunt. Of course, I'd like to see one hole groups at 100 yards but just don't have time for further experimentation before my trip to Idaho. I've been wanting to fit the rifle with a fluted barrel and bolt so my project is probably unfinished anyway. I'll have all winter to work on it.

    Perhaps you guys can suggest a good smith to do the work. I surely don't mind shipping to the lower 48 to have the work done.

    Thanks again for your post.
  9. morhuntin

    morhuntin Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    mike is rt on its all about the harmonics and load development i shoot 180vld 3.682 coal at 84.0 grains retumbo with a velocity spread of 2 fps 2805fps,haven't seen any deer or elk shrug off the impact yet. i loaded all the way from 82.0 to 91.0 and my guns sweet spot with some tension adjustment on receiver is that load. good luck.